The last bell hasn’t even rung and back-to-school shoppers are already getting down to business. The back-to-school shopping season continues to start earlier and earlier each year. According to a Bizrate Insights survey of 3,536 online buyers in the United States and Canada, 5 percent of buyers have already started shopping by April, with another 7 percent planning to start before June. The real surge in back-to-school shopping starts in July, however, with more than half of buyers beginning back-to-school shopping between late July and early August. Other findings from the survey show that the majority of buyers (about 62 percent) plan to spend less this year than last, with the average household planning to spend about $606 on back-to-school products. For households with college-age kids, that number jumps to $1,086. Additionally, children’s preferences influence parents more as children get older –49 percent of parents of preschool children take their children’s preference into account while that number rises to 65 percent of high school parents. And there’s no surprise that mobile and omnichannel will play a big role in back-to-school shopping this year. 69 percent of those surveyed plan to use mobile to research products, while 48 percent plan to make purchases on mobile. In addition, 41 percent of buyers will use mobile to price compare in-store and 37 percent will utilize their mobile devices to find coupons. The stats make one things clear – retailers must have their back-to-school strategies in place by the end of June and must be ready to support shoppers across channels.